Ashok Singhal, patron of VHP, claimed that suicide bombers may target Modi, on the lines of the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE.
“This is to request your highest offices to ensure immediately through your government and the State Governments an upgraded, comprehensive and foolproof security cover for the safety of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Shri Narendra Modi. The country in general and his supporters in particular are concerned over a possible attack being made on him,” Singhal said in the letter to the President, Monday.
“The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has issued a high alert of a possible suicide bomber threat to Shri Modi. As per the high alert, the attack may be on the lines of assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The IB reports also stated that Gujarat Chief Minister Modi won’t be shot at, and it is likely that a suicide bomber may target him, disguised as a supporter. The alert does not specify the gender of the attacker,” he added.
The VHP further claimed the Indian Mujahideen (IM), Pakistan’s ISI and Dawood Ibrahim and their allies are said to be having a plan in place to assassinate Modi. The threat became more acute after Narendra Modi recently vowed to bring Dawood Ibrahim back to Bharat, the VHP said.
“Terrorism in our country has for long been the biggest challenge. The government must address this challenge and work on a comprehensive action plan to neutralize the terrorists/mercenaries/ assassins and their network, kingpins and sleeper cells in the country and an effective investigation must also be conducted in the present context and all the needful done to ensure safety for Shri Narendra Modi,” the latter added.
Notwithstanding the VHP airing concerns, Narendra Modi has remained one of the top targets of terrorist organisations for the past few years. The threat went several notches up after he was named the prime ministerial candidate and the blasts during his Patna rally in October last year.
Reports have claimed that Indian Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal has told his interrogators: “We would do anything to get Modi, at whatever cost.”
IM operatives in Karachi are said to be training militants to carry out fidayeen attacks targeting Narendra Modi; Maulana Masood Azhar has vowed to kill Modi if he becomes the prime minister.
Narendra Modi’s security cover has also been a subject of intense BJP-Congress political fight.
Modi is a ‘Z+’ category protectee of the elite ‘black cat’ commandos of the National Security Guard. As many as 45 commandos from the National Security Guard (NSG) and Gujarat Police, deployed in multiple layers, form the inner ring. More commandos form the outer ring. Also, an Advance Security Liaison (ASL) and commandos of the anti-terrorism unit of the host carry out ecurity checks at Modi rally venues three days in advance.
However, the BJP has been demanding that Modi be brought under Special Protection Group (SPG) cover. The government has not ceded to the request citing rules under the SPG Act – the specialised commando force is mandated to provide proximate security to the Prime Minister and former PMs and members of their immediate families.